OTTBs honoured for off-track performance

| 20 January 2013 8:30 am | 0 Comments
David Buckton a nd Di Arbuthnot present Vicky Smart with the winner's cheque for Roger's Revenge.

David Buckton and Di Arbuthnot present Vicky Smart with the winner’s cheque for Roger’s Revenge. © Trevor Meeks

Ex-racehorses had their time in the spotlight at the British Horse Foundation Breeders dinner and Awards Ceremony this week, with awards presented to the value of £17,000.

Leading equine insurance brokers, South Essex Insurance Brokers (SEIB), instigated the Elite Performance Awards more than 10 years ago, along with the charity Retraining of Racehorses (RoR).

The awards provide a focus for ex-racehorses competing in the disciplines of Eventing, Dressage, Show Jumping, Endurance and Showing and have encouraged more riders to recognize the talents and versatility of the thoroughbred and their potential for success in another sphere.  The winner of each award was presented with a cheque for £2500 and the runner up in each section received £500.

The Elite Performance Award for Showing was given in two parts, to the winner of the SEIB Racehorse to Riding Horse Championship held at the Horse of the Year Show, and to the winner of the Tattersalls and ROR Thoroughbred Show Horse Championship held at Hickstead.

Victoria Smart collected the Elite Performance Award for Showing having taken the 2012 SEIB Racehorse to Riding horse Championship at HOYS with her own homebred, Rogers Revenge.  Victoria and her husband, racehorse trainer Bryan Smart, bred this horse and he went into training with Bryan before retiring to the show ring.  Bryan has an enviable record as in the SEIB and RoR Elite Performance Award for Showing as this will be the third consecutive year that a horse he formerly trained has won the award.

Helen Newbold and Deep Reflection won the Tattersalls Thoroughbred Show Horse Championship at Hickstead, earning them the SEIB and ROR Elite Performance Award for Showing.   Helen and Deep Reflection also took runner up spot in the SEIB Racehorse to Riding Horse class at the Horse of the Year Show.  Deep Reflection has a home for life with the Newbolds who run a successful pre-training and breaking yard in Wicken, Buckinghamshire.

The SEIB and RoR Elite Performance Award for Dressage was won by Karen Mathers and her own Whataboutya.  In training with former jockey turned top trainer Jonjo O’Neil, Whataboutya had a successful career as a racehorse, winning five races over hurdles and jumps and amassing £55,000 in prize money.  He last ran in August 2011 and started competing in affiliated dressage only at the beginning of 2012. Runners up in Dressage were Lauren Crouch and Keraysi.

Jabeena Maslin’s Quel Ange, ridden by Kathryn Ellison won the Elite Performance Award for Show Jumping.  Both the showjumping winner and runner up were previously trained in Somerset with Ron Hodges.  Jabeena trains the Olympic British Modern Pentathlon team in showjumping and Quel Ange was one of the horses used for the showjumping phase of the sport at the London Olympics.  Quel Ange is currently competing at 1.25m and Jabeena hopes he will start competing at 1.35 and 1.40m this year.  Runner-up  for showjumping was 22 year old Vite Etoile with Nicola Braidwood.

Cornish rider Victoria Ham travelled to London to collect the SEIB & RoR Elite Performance Award for Endurance won with her mare Thea’s Lass.  Vicky said: “Our aim for 2012 was to compete over further distances at the higher levels.  We have had a brilliant season and completed six rides with Grade 1 results which also resulted in us taking 12th place in the overall Endurance GB Senior Championship”.  Runners up in the Endurance Award were Val Bradshaw and Magic Powers.

Sam Penn riding Sophie Bunch’s ex-racehorse Seven O Seven took the 2012 SEIB and RoR Elite Performance Award for Eventing.  They were runner-up in 2011. “We were thrilled to be runner up last year and this is just unbelievable,” Penn said. Last year was an exciting year for Seven O Seven and Sam as they contested their first four star three day event – The Landrover Burghley Horse Trials.  New Zealand eventer Dan Jocelyn took the runner up spot in the 2012 SEIB and RoR Elite Performance Award for Eventing with his own horse, Valemount.

Equine Insurance brokers, South Essex Insurance Brokers who provide cover for horses, horse boxes, yards and much more, instigated the former Racehorse to Riding Horse Performance Awards in order to support the retraining of the thousands of racehorses who come out of training each year.

“The Performance Awards also provide a platform to show how a correctly re-schooled ex-racehorse can be successful in a new career and continue to have a bright future, competing successfully in many different disciplines.  This year’s competition has proved yet again the versatility and resilience of the thoroughbred,” said Nicolina Mackenzie, Marketing Manager of SEIB.

RoR is British horseracing’s official charity for the welfare of horses who have retired from racing.  It raises funds from within racing to provide facilities for the care, retraining and re-homing of former racehorses, and to promote awareness of the suitability of the retrained racehorse for other equine careers.

Di Arbuthnot, RoR director of operations, said: “This series provides a focus for ex-racehorses, and I hope it will encourage more riders to recognize the talents and versatility of the thoroughbred and their potential for success in another sphere.”

To be eligible, horses must have run in the UK and be registered with ROR.


More information:, and


SEIB & RoR Racehorse to Riding Horse Performance Awards 2012  Presented by David Buckton, Associate Director SEIB and Di Arbuthnot, RoR



ROGERS REVENGE 2005 Chestnut Gelding s: City On A Hill (USA) d: Resemblance; Trained by Bryan Smart; Owned and ridden by Victoria Smart from Thirsk, N Yorks


DEEP REFLECTION 2000 Bay Gelding s: Cloudings (IRE) d: Tudor Thyne (IRE); Trained by Martin Keighley; Owned by Jason Newbold and ridden by Helen Newbold from Wicken, Bucks


1st WHATABOUTYA (IRE) 2001 Brown Gelding s: Eve’s Error d: Tara’s Tribe; Trained by Jonjo O’Neill; Owned and ridden by Karen Mathers from Horsham West Sussex

2nd KERAYASI (FR) 2002 Bay Gelding s: Kahyasi d: Good Blend (FR); Trained by Gary Moore; Owned and ridden by Lauren Crouch from Loughborough, Leics



1st THEA’S LASS (IRE) 1999 Bay Mare s: Barathea (IRE) d: Castlerahan (IRE); Trained by Milton Bradley; Owned and ridden by Victoria Han from Callington, Cornwall

2nd MAGIC POWERS 1995 Chestnut Gelding s: Magical Wonder (USA) d: Kissin’ Cousin; Trained by G B Balding; Owned by Mr SP Nelson and ridden by Valerie Bradshaw from Sherborne, Dorset



1st QUEL ANGE (FR) 2002 Bay Colt s: Tel Quel(FR) d: Corrossol (FR); Trained by Ron Hodges; Owned and ridden by Jabenna Maslin from Beaminster, Dorset

2nd VITE ETOILE 1991 Bay Mare s: Town And Country d: Quick Riposte; Trained by Ron Hodges; Owned and ridden by Nicola Braidwood from Rusper, West Sussex



1st SEVEN O SEVEN 1993 Bay Gelding s: Skyliner d: Fille De Phaeton; Trained by Peter Cundell; Owned by Sophie Bunch and ridden by Sam Penn from Golden Cross, East Sussex

2nd VALEMOUNT (IRE) 2003 Bay Gelding s: Presenting d: Velsheda (IRE); Trained by Philip Hobbs; Owned and ridden by Dan Jocelyn from Newbury, Berks




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